Nigeria striker target Victor Osimhen has suggested that he may leave Napoli in the summer, amidst interest from Manchester United.
Speaking to Italian publication Il Mattino, the Serie A star left questions on his future open, although he did appear to quash any notion of a January switch.
“The future is this moment. It is to win something important in Italy. It’s difficult to think of anything better than Napoli: it’s one of the biggest teams in Europe, it’s an extraordinary club, and it’s normal that now I’m only focused on what we have to do this season.
“Because we haven’t done anything yet: we have to win something.
“Then we’ll see what happens.”
Napoli’s flying start to the season has seen them reach the summit of the Serie A table and pip Liverpool to the top of their Champions’ League group.
With ten goals and two assists in 14 appearances, Osimhen has been central to their fantastic performance.
A top target
The Nigerian is thought to be at the very top of United’s shortlist to fill the (usually) vacant centre forward position at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial’s struggles for fitness this season, along with Cristiano Ronaldo’s termination prior to the World Cup, have accelerated the club’s plans and made the number nine role the absolute priority for recruitment.
And while a marquee striker is unlikely to be signed in the winter window, there is no doubt that the Red Devils will look to strengthen up front in the summer.
Osimhen’s comments certainly leave the door open for an exit at that point and suggest the player could be on the move whether he wins silverware in Naples or not.
A prime candidate for Premier League football, Serie A’s top scorer looks set to see out the remainder of the season at his current club.
But Manchester United will certainly see an opportunity come the summer as they look to hand Erik ten Hag the tools necessary to compete for the biggest honours.
Worth the wait?
The key issue at United right now is clearly a lack of goals.
The Red Devils have scored fewer Premier League goals than all but one team in the top-half of the table, with only Chelsea (who changed managers weeks into the season) suffering a lower tally.
Osimhen’s coy response to questions over his future will do nothing to aid United’s woes in front of goal in the immediate future, and that could be a stumbling block to any potential move – even in the summer.
Ten Hag is adamant in his need for more offensive weapons in the here and now.
With the club switching their recruitment strategy to avoid stopgaps, it may be the case that United would be better served in finding a forward who is both immediately available and also a long-term improvement to the squad.
That is easier said than done, however, and there are few – if any – elite strikers who will be available midseason.
United have been linked with Cody Gakpo and Joao Felix as possible winter recruits to freshen up Ten Hag’s attacking options.
And while both of those players can fill a role up top, neither are genuine centre forwards, while either could happily co-exist with a player of Osimhen’s profile.
Should a genuine centre forward of exceptional quality become available in January, summer may well be too late for the Napoli forward, but such a situation does not seem likely at present.
United Matchday Magazine – be in the know about everything in red!
Still itching for more United content? Get everything you need right here. For just £1.25 per issue/£3.75 a month you’ll receive unique insights into United, straight to your inbox – before every match and throughout the month.
- Get the exclusive build-up to each match, plus team news, tactics and history.
- Not only that – United Matchday is jam-packed with articles, news, transfer news, puzzles, nostalgia and humour.
- Impress your friends and be in the know about everything in red!